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If you can't win, twist the rules

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:01 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:Terrible person - ha!

That is how I characterize people who don't give a fuck about other people. That is you.
No, I give a different set of fucks than you do.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:And staking out a few cases where we can agree what is "better" does not establish universality of the concept of "goodness" ("betterness" was a silly word).
I see. Now you want to move the goalposts. Can't say I blame you. Nobody likes being shown that they are an asshole.
How did I move the goalposts? We were talking about abstract concepts and you gave a few specific examples, which I acknowledged and then returned to abstract concepts. Care to address my assertion that analogous simple truths are much harder to identify when it comes to political matters? Here's an example - is it better for the balance of political power to be shifted to local governments or to state or federal governments?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:In your view, to give but one example, it is better to let someone die than it is to compel a doctor to administer a simple life-saving technique.
You've left unexamined the conditions under which such a situation might arise in the first place, aside from the Hippocratic Oath business which we will ignore for the purposes of this discussion. I can think of exceptional cases for your situation rather easily - for instance, if a rapist were mortally wounded by his victim acting in self-defense, I wouldn't feel compelled to turn a gun on a doctor or EMT to ensure the rapist's survival. I wouldn't stop the doctor from helping, either. And anyway, in my hypothetical world, the initiation of force is not magically rendered impossible by some new physical force. Nothing would actually stop you or anyone else from initiating force on a doctor to compel him or her to perform a life-saving procedure. However, such an action could and should be met with legal consequences.

Since you often accuse me of living outside of reality, I find your outlandish doctor/compulsion situation interesting. Can you point to any cases from reality where a doctor chose not to save someone's life for no apparent reason, thereby forcing someone to threaten the doctor's life in response? I'm totally OK with constructing one-in-a-billion corner cases for the purpose of demonstrating a point, but you should hold your wild hypothetical alternative realities to the same standard that you do mine.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:26 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:How did I move the goalposts?
You said "betterness" was subjective. I proved you wrong. So you said, "What I should have said was 'goodness'" A more blatant example of goalpost-moving I cannot imagine.
ArturoBandini wrote: Care to address my assertion that analogous simple truths are much harder to identify when it comes to political matters?
Not really, no. Are you really asking if I agree with the assertion that not everything is objective?
ArturoBandini wrote:Blah blah bullshit blah

None of this shit has any bearing on my example.
A real-world example would be if, say, The Protect Life Act were to become law. There is nothing wild nor hypothetical about this as it is well within the realm of possibilities that such a law could be enacted. Another example is that there was a time when some white doctors would refuse emergency treatment to black people. That is now illegal. I say good. You, undoubtedly, think the doctor should be able to make that determination themselves and no government should be able to force them to do otherwise. That is why you are a terrible person.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:20 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You said "betterness" was subjective. I proved you wrong. So you said, "What I should have said was 'goodness'" A more blatant example of goalpost-moving I cannot imagine.
"Betterness" is just the comparative degree of "goodness". If you have assessed the goodness of two things, you've necessarily also assessed which is better, assuming you can perform simple comparisons of magnitude.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote: Care to address my assertion that analogous simple truths are much harder to identify when it comes to political matters?
Not really, no. Are you really asking if I agree with the assertion that not everything is objective?
No, I asked a specific question about objectivity/subjectivity when comparing the goodness of various political actions or issues. I gave an example of such a comparison to clarify the issue.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:Blah blah bullshit blah
This was a nice touch. But why even bother fake-quoting at all?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:A real-world example would be if, say, The Protect Life Act were to become law. There is nothing wild nor hypothetical about this as it is well within the realm of possibilities that such a law could be enacted.
Remind me what this is a real-world example of? I'll grant that it's an example of something, but I don't see how it relates to this discussion in more than a passing manner. The bill relates to payment rules for certain medical procedures under a federally-subsidized insurance program. It doesn't forbid doctors from performing the procedure (abortion), nor does it force them to perform the procedure.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Another example is that there was a time when some white doctors would refuse emergency treatment to black people. That is now illegal. I say good.
I think it's better that our society has progressed to the point that the illegality of such behavior is not the reason it happens only in the rarest of cases.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You, undoubtedly, think the doctor should be able to make that determination themselves and no government should be able to force them to do otherwise. That is why you are a terrible person.
Yes, doctors should determine what procedures they are willing to perform on others.

These doctor/patient hypotheticals have little bearing in reality anyway. If the patient (let's say, a pregnant black woman) were truly in desperate, immediate need of an abortion to avoid immediate death from miscarriage, the legality of the doctor's behavior would have little bearing on the actual outcome - it's not as if government agents are going to arrive in time to force the evil doctor's hand into action (now, pissed-off nurses with no governmental authority might succeed in doing so). If the situation were not an immediate medical emergency, then the patient would have time to consider alternative providers. And I'm not saying that there aren't or shouldn't be consequences for a doctor who behaves in a discriminatory manner that disrespects the life of another - there are and should be social and economic consequences to such actions.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Average Joe » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:11 pm

Good. This scheme will have two unintended consequences for the TEA/GOP. First, it will further marginalize the GOP and solidify their status as an insignificant club of blathering idiots who repulse normal Americans. And second, it will eventually unravel and do away with the electoral college and send the US on the path of direct election of our President.

To quote the President in the second debate, "Please proceed..."
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:30 pm

Get a room, this debate is old.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:55 pm

Regarding the OP, this seems to be an evolution of old and effective tactics. Although I get the feeling that people are finally catching on to this game.

http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/oct/12/dirty-south/

http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/oct/12/w ... ting-firm/
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby DCB » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:56 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You said "betterness" was subjective. I proved you wrong. ....
None of this shit has any bearing on my example.

Wags, you seem like a rational guy. If you're debating the meaning of "betterness", that should be a clue the discussion has gone completely off the rails. Classic Libertarian thread-jack!

Some things are subjective - is the electoral college better than a straight popular vote? which one is more democratic?

Here's what's not subjective: rigging elections, whether by legal means or not, is wrong. And Republicans are trying to rig the entire electoral process, because they clearly can't win on the issues.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Igor » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:01 pm

Just as an aside - I believe that the most gerrymandered districts and states are pretty evenly divided between Democratic and Republicans. Now back to the "debate".
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:44 am

DCB wrote:Wags, you seem like a rational guy.
I assume you formed this opinion based on something I wrote in another thread. I gotta find better things to do when I'm cranky.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:08 am

Gerrymandering is not totally subjective. If the results of the gerrymandered election (say, in terms of the composition of the senate and house of a state in binary R-D numbers) is significantly different from the numbers of R and D votes that were cast, and significantly favors the party that drew the maps, in that state you've got a potential case of gerrymandering.

The courts deal with this stuff all the time. There's not one single tipping point, but an analysis of the overall results along with other factors (extremely sprawled-out districts, for one -- look at a map of Texas) can show the lines were drawn with the intent of favoring one party over another, often by grouping/separating the population by race, ethnicity, or past voting history.

Wrong? Right? That's not the question. We are asking "does this happen and can it be shown statistically and logically" and the answer is yes.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:38 am

Make what you will of what the JS Corp has to say on this issue.

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/sta ... s-statewi/
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:59 am

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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby SidSeven » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:00 am

From SidSeven

The problem with America is everyone thinks they know everything

And they are paranoid they don't

So we keep striving, towards a solution

Which is dissolution

And we all know what that is....

That is why we are the BEST (example)
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby DCB » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:31 am

Mad Howler wrote:Make what you will of what the JS Corp has to say on this issue.

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/sta ... s-statewi/

OK, I will. But really MH, if you think this is important, why not tell us what you think?

Pasch, citing Democratic Party research based on unofficial and preliminary vote data, claimed that "Assembly Democratic candidates actually received 200,000 more votes statewide" despite Republicans winning more than 60 percent of the seats.

The final, certified election results showed a 174,000 edge for Democrats, despite the fact they won only 39 seats.

We think that her statement rates a Mostly True.


Politifact Wisconsin doesn't directly address whether redistricting is responsible for the discrepancy. Seems like that is something that could be measured - compare the outcome to last years districts.

Even Joe Scarborough understands that:
"But I just have to say one other really important point, because I made a mistake over the past month talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House. As this article I was referencing mentioned, we actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races. It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority."
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:28 pm

DCB wrote:Politifact Wisconsin doesn't directly address whether redistricting is responsible for the discrepancy. Seems like that is something that could be measured - compare the outcome to last years districts.


Politifact's makes it quite clear that the discrepancy has more to do with the large number of uncontested elections that Democrats won. In just the contested elections Republicans actually come out ahead.

I'm guessing it's safe to draw some connection between redistricting and the much larger number of uncontested seats from previous years. Republicans wrote off the districts they knew they couldn't win (by design), and focused their money in the ones that would be close. I would assume 2014 will see the Democrats doing the same as they figure out where their best chances lie.

Something Politifact doesn't mention, but which also must play a big part when tied in with the uncontested elections is the Presidential election.
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